You’re never too old for love. Just look at Willie Nelson. He recently turned 87. But his 70th solo studio album First Rose of Spring very definitely finds the Red-Headed Stranger in a decidedly amorous mood, gently crooning a slate of lovestruck and/or lovelorn country ballads — from the floral title cut to Chris Stapleton’s Our Song to the prisoner-of-love lament I’ll Break Out Again Tonight, and plenty more where they came from. Of course, Willie also knows how his bread gets buttered. So for those who aren’t into the mushy stuff, he tosses in the lighthearted honky-tonk of Just Bummin’ Around, the gunslinger ode We Are The Cowboys and the two-stepping Johnny Paycheck classic I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised. What is not to love?
THE PRESS RELEASE: “First Rose of Spring is Willie Nelson’s 70th solo studio album. An atmospheric soulful showcase of beautifully written songs and poignant performances produced by Buddy Cannon, First Rose Of Spring is the artist’s first new release since winning the 2020 Best Country Solo Performance Grammy Award — Willie’s 10th overall, not including his Grammy Legend and Lifetime Achievement Awards — for Ride Me Back Home, the title track from his 2019 release. The previous year, My Way — Willie’s musical homage to Frank Sinatra — took home the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. First Rose Of Spring includes the already released singles First Rose of Spring, I’m the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised & the Chris Stapleton-penned Our Song.